The wild brunch: Skye Gyngell's hearty mid-morning meals - Features - Food + Drink - The Independent

The wild brunch: Skye Gyngell's hearty mid-morning meals

Fresh fruit, simple, natural produce - and soft, fluffy pancakes...

Sometimes I rather shamefully suggest people do things I don't do myself. One of them is breakfast. I have spent years suggesting to my eldest daughter that she eats something in the morning, yet I can't remember the last time I ate anything then myself – coffee suffices. I do, however, find that by around 10am I am starving, and this is when I eat my first meal of the day. That's why brunch is one of my favourite meals.

In the summer, fruit is what I crave – cool and gently sweet accompanied by yoghurt, toasted muesli or honey. Pancakes are delicious and indulgent, and I adore simply grilled sourdough bread with either ripe tomatoes, olive oil and plenty of crunchy sea salt, or topped with fruit.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627,

Bananas, strawberries and ricotta on sourdough

For some reason, this dish reminds me of my home town of Sydney – I think perhaps because it is quite Australian in feel. Sydneysiders love breakfast and on the weekends all the cafés along the beach are spilling out with people hungrily eating after a swim in the surf.

Serves 1 (just multiply the amounts according to how many are eating)

1 slice of 1/2-inch-thick sourdough bread
2 tbsp of very fresh ricotta cheese
1 banana, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
4 strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 tbsp light flavoured honey, such as acacia
A tiny pinch of salt
A squeeze of lemon juice

Grill the bread until golden- brown, spoon over the ricotta, arrange the banana and strawberries on top and drizzle over the honey. Finish with the smallest crumble of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pancakes with raspberry butter and maple syrup

Serves 6

150g/5oz softened butter
1 punnet of raspberries
125g/4oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp caster sugar
1 egg
170ml/6fl oz whole milk
Maple syrup, to serve

First, make the raspberry butter. Put the butter into a clean bowl and beat using a wooden spoon until light and slightly paler in colour. Using the back of a fork, slightly mash the raspberries and then stir gently through the butter, then set aside while you make the pancakes.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and pour in the milk and whisk until smooth. Rest for 15 minutes. Now heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and brush with a little butter (be careful not to let the butter brown). Spoon a ladleful of batter into the centre of the pan, turn down the heat slightly and cook for two minutes. Once bubbles begin to appear on the surface, turn the pancakes and cook for a minute on the other side. Very often the first pancake is less than perfect, but don't be disheartened: this is completely normal.

Serve hot from the pan with a spoonful of raspberry butter and as much maple syrup as you feel like.

Poached peaches and gooseberries with Greek yoghurt and rosewater

These peaches are clean and refreshing, gently sweet and delicate. They should be served very well chilled.

Serves 4

1 punnet of gooseberries
4 ripe peaches or nectarines
11/2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp rosewater
Greek yoghurt, to serve

Wash the gooseberries well, remove the top and base, which are prickly and coarse, and place in a saucepan. Tear the peaches in half using your fingers and discard their stone. Place in the saucepan along with the gooseberries and add the icing sugar and rosewater. Place over a very low heat and cook, stirring every now and then until the fruit is soft but not falling apart. Remove from the stove and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge and chilling for two hours.

Serve alongside a little thick and creamy Greek-style yoghurt.

Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
peopleBenefits Street star says mixed-race children were subjected to trolling
Angel Di Maria
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
newsIn short, yes
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Day In a Page

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories